Contents of IAS Mains Sociology
PAPER - I
FUNDAMENTALS OF SOCIOLOGY
1. Sociology - The Discipline:
- Modernity and social changes in Europe and emergence of sociology.
- Scope of the subject and comparison with other social sciences.
2. Sociology and common sense.2. Sociology as
- Science, scientific method and critique.
- Major theoretical strands of research methodology.
- Positivism and its critique.
- Fact value and objectivity.
- Non- positivist methodologies.
3. Research Methods and Analysis:
- Qualitative and quantitative methods.
- Techniques of data collection.
- Variables, sampling, hypothesis, reliability and validity.
4. Sociological Thinkers:
- Kar l Marx- Histor ical mater ial ism, mode of production, alienation,
- Emile Durkheim- Division of labour, social fact, suicide, religion and
- Max Weber- Social action, ideal types, author i ty, bureaucracy,
protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism.
- Talcolt Parsons- Social system, pattern variables.
- Robert K. Merton- Latent and manifest functions, conformity and
deviance, reference groups.
- Mead - Self and identity.
5. Stratification and Mobility:
- Concepts- equality, inequality, hierarchy, exclusion, poverty and
- Theories of social stratification- Structural functionalist theory,
Marxist theory, Weberian theory.
- Dimensions – Social stratification of class, status groups, gender,
ethnicity and race.
- Social mobility- open and closed systems, types of mobility, sources and
causes of mobility.
6. Works and Economic Life:
- Social organization of work in different types of society- slave
society, feudal society, industrial /capitalist society.
- Formal and informal organization of work.
- Labour and society.
7. Politics and Society:
- Sociological theories of power.
- Power elite, bureaucracy, pressure groups, and political parties.
- Nation, state, citizenship, democracy, civil society, ideology.
- Protest, agitation, social movements, collective action, revolution.
8. Religion and Society:
- Sociological theories of religion.
- Types of religious practices: animism, monism, pluralism, sects, cults.
- Religion in modern society: religion and science, secularization,
religious revivalism, fundamentalism.
9. Systems of Kinship:
- Family, household, marriage.
- Types and forms of family.
- Lineage and descent.
- Patriarchy and sexual division oflabour.
- Contemporary trends.
10. Social Change in Modern Society:
- Sociological theories of social change.
- Development and dependency.
- Agents of social change.
- Education and social change.
- Science, technology and social change.
PAPER - II
INDIAN SOCIETY : STRUCTURE AND CHANGE
A. Introducing Indian Society:
(i) Perspectives on the study of Indian society:
- Indology (GS. Ghurye).
- Structural functionalism (M N Srinivas).
- Marxist sociology (A R Desai).
(ii) Impact of colonial rule on Indian society :
- Social background of Indian nationalism.
- Modernization of Indian tradition.
- Protests and movements during the colonial period.
- Social reforms.
B. Social Structure:
(i) Rural and Agrarian Social Structure:
- The idea of Indian village and village studies.
- Agrarian social structure - evolution of land tenure system, land
(ii) Caste System:
- Perspectives on the study of caste systems: GS Ghurye, M N Srinivas,
Louis Dumont, Andre Beteille.
- Features of caste system.
- Untouchability - forms and perspectives.
(iii) Tribal communities in India:
- Definitional problems.
- Geographical spread.
- Colonial policies and tribes.
- Issues of integration and autonomy.
(iv) Social Classes in India:
- Agrarian class structure.
- Industrial class structure.
- Middle classes in India.
(v) Systems of Kinship in India:
- Lineage and descent in India.
- Types of kinship systems.
- Family and marriage in India.
- Household dimensions of the family.
(vi) Religion and Society:
- Religious communities in India.
- Problems of religious minorities.
C. Social Changes in India:
(i) Visions of Social Change in India:
- Idea of development planning and mixed economy.
- Constitution, law and social change.
- Education and social change.
(ii) Rural and Agrarian transformation in India:
- Programmes of rural development, Community Development Progra - mme,
cooperatives, poverty alleviation schemes.
- Green revolution and social change.
- Changing modes of production in Indian agriculture .
- Problems of rural labour, bondage,migration.
(iii) Industrialization and Urbanisation in India:
- Evolution of modern industry in India.
- Growth of urban settlements in India.
- Working class: structure, growth, class mobilization.
- Informal sector, child labour.
- Slums and deprivation in urban areas.
(iv) Politics and Society:
- Nation, democracy and citizenship.
- Political parties, pressure groups , social and political elite.
- Regionalism and decentralization of power.
(v) Social Movements in Modern India:
- Peasants and farmers movements.
- Women’s movement.
- Backward classes & Dalit movement.
- Environmental movements.
- Ethnicity and Identity movements.
(vi) Population Dynamics:
- Population size, growth, composition and distribution.
- Components of population growth: birth, death, migration.
- Population policy and family planning.
- Emerging issues: ageing, sex ratios, child and infant mortality,
(vii) Challenges of Social Transformation:
- Crisis of development: displacement, environmental problems and
- Poverty, deprivation and inequalities.
- Violence against women.
- Caste conflicts.
- Ethnic conflicts, communalism, religious revivalism.
- Illiteracy and disparities in education.
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